We were at Bay Pines National Cemetery on March 3rd, with cousins Wolfgang and Cordula visiting from Germany. It still brings tears to see his niche and know that is all that is left of my handsome, brilliant son, all that is earthly remains, at any rate.
Oddly, a couple of days later, the beautiful Hawaiian lei which has hung over his portrait ever since the day of his memorial service, now dried and still lovely, fell off of it for the first time in all these years.
It's amazing the number of things that can remind me of Leif. I was driving to my friend Chris's house a couple of times in the past week or two and saw many feral black and white cats. That reminded me of how much Leif loved cats, and how he had tried to get close to and tame the feral kittens that lived under our townhouse in Hawaii.
This picture was one that Leif's ex wife Nikko sent to me, taken by her, one of those precious photos I hadn't seen before, and is one of a series she took of him with one of their cats. I've posted some of the others before. I still wonder who else has photos of Leif I have never seen. This one was taken while he was in the army at Fort Drum, New York on August 20, 1999. This was shortly after we had visited them there and shortly before he went to Bosnia.
So much in our lives has changed since he left us, but our love for him has not.